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Rise in civil partnerships for first time since same-sex marriage introduced

Some 890 new partnerships were recorded in 2016 in England and Wales, up from 861 in 2015, a rise of 3%.

Civil partnerships rose last year for the first time since same-sex marriage was introduced, new figures show.

Some 890 new partnerships were recorded in 2016 in England and Wales, up from 861 in 2015, a rise of 3%.

More than two thirds of the partnerships (68%) were between male same-sex couples.

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(PA Graphics)

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), also show that civil partnerships are becoming increasingly popular among older couples.

Roughly one in five new partnerships (19%) were between couples who were 65 or older, compared with just one in 25 (4%) in 2013.

Nicola Haines of the ONS said: “Following legislative change enabling marriages of same-sex couples from March 2014, civil partnership formations declined as the majority of same-sex couples opted for marriage instead.

“However, 2016 represents the first increase in civil partnership formations since this change, showing that a minority of same-sex couples still prefer this option to marriage.

“Interestingly, male couples accounted for 68% of all civil partnerships in 2016. However, our latest marriage statistics show that male couples accounted for only 44% of all marriages formed between same sex-couples in 2014.”

Civil partnerships became available to couples in England and Wales on December 21 2005.

The following year saw a total of 14,943 partnerships recorded – more than 16 times greater than the number in 2016.

Marriages of same-sex couples became legal in England and Wales on March 29 2014.

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